By Bette McDevitt
On Tuesday, April 23, six of us went into PNC’s opulent but sustainable monument to capitalism at Fifth and Wood, to speak at the shareholders meeting about the bank’s investment in nuclear weapons. Mr. William Demchak listened to three of us speak in civilized tones about the weapons and alternative investments.
When Peter Deutsch began to speak about the dangers of radiation if a bomb is exploded, Mr. Demchak had had enough. He interrupted him, saying PNC has no intention of giving up their investments in nuclear weapons, and ended the meeting.
So it’s another year at Fifth and Wood, and bank branches, friends. Remember the Quakers got them to stop investing in mountain top renewal. Perhaps the profit is higher on the nukes…..
Below are my remarks, which followed Molly’s:
“A heap of praise is due to PNC for funding the program, Growing up Great, to prepare our community’s children, from birth to age five for success in school and in life. It’s now a $500 million dollar remarkable initiative.”
(After Molly’s remarks, Mr. Demchak said the investment in nuclear weapons is $300 million, rather than $600 million. We, at this time, are not sure if this means they have reduced their investment in those companies, or if they are refining their description of what constitutes “nuclear weapons.” Stay tuned. In any case, I modified my remarks to say the following:)
“But, meanwhile, in an effort to make a profit for the good people in this room, PNC has loaned out, according to Mr. Demchak, $300 million to the makers of nuclear weapons, and, ladies and gentlemen, your bank has made available an even larger amount to additional companies who deal in deadly weapons, through underwriting and financial management.
“Investing in both children and weapons intended to rain down death brings to mind the words of the 1960’s, ‘War is Not Healthy for Children or Other Living Things’, and believe me, folks, war is the business of these companies. Weapons must be used, replenished and updated. We now have 7000 nuclear armed weapons. Who needs more?
“As my friend Molly mentioned, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set the Doomsday Clock at 2 minutes to midnight this past year They believe we are in immediate danger of destroying ourselves from two sources, nuclear annihilation and climate change.
“We, each of us, and all those who make up the bank, are the ones who can change things. We are the change we’ve been waiting for.”
Bette McDevitt is a member of the Editorial Collective